Read the following scenario and respond to it as a risk manager.
Mr. And Mrs. Watros came to the Memorial Hospital for the delivery of their first child. While Mrs. Watros was in labor, the couple had to wait for nearly two hours to get a room. During that time, no hospital nurse attended to her. As the waiting room was full of patients, an exhausted Mrs. Watros sat on the floor. Mr. Watros reported this to a nurse. The nurse responded that it was past her shift, and she could do nothing.
These problems were later reported to a physician. The physician said, “It is just the way things go wrong here sometimes. You just have to get used to it.”
After delivery, the nurse carrying the infant slipped. The baby was unharmed. The explanation given was, “there was disinfectant fluid on the floor, which makes the floor a little slippery.”
On discharge, Mr. and Mrs. Watros decided to sue the hospital. The physician admitted negligence and poor treatment, but did not see a reason to apologize.
Put yourself in the position of all the people involved (as well as the hospital), and describe what could have been done differently
Your focus as a Risk Manger is prevention and your analysis should be directed at preventing the intial action as well as re-actions.
As a risk manager, my first step would be to assess the situation and figure out what could go wrong and how to avoid it from happening again. What could have been done differently to avoid the problems faced by the following important players in this scenario are as follows:
In regards to Mrs. Watros, the hospital’s response to her needs was inadequate and came far too late. The hospital could have kept her informed and given a pleasant waiting space if they hadn’t made her wait for two hours. Moreover, the hospital was responsible for making sure she got the care she needed when she needed it.
What the nurse said in response to Mr. Watros’ complaint was unprofessional. The hospital should have given Mr. Watros a higher-up to talk to about his problems and made sure he was heard. This would have prevented the patient’s current level of discontent and irritation from increasing.
The nurse’s answer to Mr. Watros’s complaint was unprofessional. The nurse should have been taught better customer service and communication skills by the facility. The hospital also failed in its duty to offer a suitable handover procedure to guarantee continuity of care for patients between shifts.
Doctor: The doctor was dismissive of the patient’s concerns. The doctor should have received further training from the medical center on how to effectively interact with patients and staff. In addition, the medical center should have fostered a climate of accountability in which each employee takes personal responsibility for their work.
Keeping the hospital’s floors clean and in good repair at all times is one way to protect the safety of patients. The hospital’s employees should have been properly educated and trained to meet the demands of its patients.
Finally, as a risk manager, I would be concerned with preventing similar incidents in the future by establishing procedures to safeguard patients and ensuring that all employees have received enough training. The healthcare facility also has to foster a climate of responsibility and ensure that everyone on staff is accountable for their activities. At the end of the day, the hospital needs to make it easy for patients to submit feedback and make it a priority to handle concerns in a fast and courteous manner.